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Corruption “Bonhomie”!
By M. Ashraf
The latest news is that the National Conference, the party whose leaders once shunned the Congress men has developed such bonhomie that they may fight the 2014 elections jointly. The National Conference started as a peoples’ party in 1938 with the very pious aim of getting total emancipation for the Kashmiri people. They did struggle to achieve the goal till 1947 but then their leadership got confused and abandoned the line of independent thinking for the Kashmiri people. Instead their leadership for their own selfish motives entangled the people in the worst possible logjam out of which they are yet to find an escape. The leadership did realise its mistake but a bit too late and got incarcerated. However, they again abandoned the basic principle and joined the very people who had incarcerated them in the first instance. In spite of all these somersaults, the people still followed their charismatic leader and owned the party as a nationalistic Kashmiri peoples’ party. In fact, their leader once called the Congressmen from Kashmir as the “worms of the gutter”! However, in 1987, the progeny of the charismatic leader took the help of these “worms” to come to power by incarcerating and cruelly oppressing the youth who had chosen the democratic path to express their aspirations. At that time, the aligning of the Kashmir’s nationalistic party with the central Congress leadership had created a vacuum for the common people aspiring for the total emancipation.

In political parlance, a coalition according to Cambridge dictionary is “the joining together of different political parties or groups for a particular purpose, usually for a limited time”. The Webster defines coalition in politics as “a group of people, groups, or countries who have joined together for a common purpose”. So the basis of a coalition is to achieve some common purpose or a goal. The joining partners come together with a common programme depending upon their individual manifestos or agendas. In our part of the world, the political coalitions are formed with the sole purpose of capturing power. Sometimes diametrically opposite parties come together to share the fruits of power. Coalitions have rarely been formed with some honest, genuine, and people friendly aims. Some politicians are obsessed with power and are compelled to go for temporary marriages to enable them to stay as rulers. In order to do so they are forced to compromise on their basic ideology and principles.

The National Conference/ Congress coalition is a typical example of joining hands to facilitate corruption without any accountability. In 2008, the National Conference embraced the “worms” to come back to power which they had lost due to their corrupt practices and total mis-governance. All these years they have exhibited total incompetence and the corruption has risen to unimaginable heights. This has been the result of the coalition set up as admitted by their own leader. The opponents who had dislodged them in 2002 did no better as they too had gone for the coalition dharma with the congress party! Initially, their leaders too had been the part of the congress regime and to get power, they had to marry the same party. During their tenure they too indirectly confirmed that it is not possible to control corruption in a coalition set up. The main reason in both instances has been the fact that the driving factor for the coalitions has been the aim to capture power regardless of the ideologies of the individual partners.

Now after the most incompetent and corrupt rule, the leader of the party declares that it is not possible to tackle corruption in a coalition set up. On the other hand he is ready to join the same party for a common strategy in the elections. If their leader really feels that to eradicate corruption he has to go alone, then he has to quit the coalition and go to the people to get a fresh mandate. He has shown that if required, he has the courage to do so. This was evident during his speech in the parliament on land transfer and in the assembly on being accused of sex offences. Otherwise, all these declarations contradicting each other sound totally hypocritical and are the changing colours of a chameleon. Anyhow, the people now are thoroughly fed up and are suffering on all counts especially in their day to day living. They see no light at the end of the tunnel. If the Congress could become really people friendly by removing stifling restrictions, take care of the peoples’ basic needs, and muster young and honest leadership, people may prefer them rather than the camouflaged chameleons! The best rule by a mainstream party too was Congress rule of G M Sadiq from 1964 to 1971. To get a similar honest set up now may be wishful thinking! With the other side claiming to represent the popular sentiment bent upon a boycott, there appears no escape from the corruption bonhomie of the coalition partners unless there is some divine intervention!

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News Updated at : Thursday, November 29, 2012
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